Jay-Z only needed one weekend to put up monster sales numbers. Last week, his new -- and, if you believe him, final -- CD The Black Album was rushed to stores, and more than 460,000 fans rushed out to buy it.
To counteract bootlegging -- and perhaps drum up publicity -- both The Black Album and Beg for Mercy, from 50 Cent's G-Unit crew, were released last Friday instead of this past Tuesday, so they did not enjoy a full opening week. Neither seemed to suffer much, however, as Beg moved 376,000 copies, to debut at Number Three, one slot lower than Resurrection, yet another posthumous blockbuster from 2Pac.
Classical-pop crooner Josh Groban and jingoistic country hero Toby Keith broke up hip-hop's hold on the Top Five, as their Closer (375,000) and Shock N Y'all (227,000) -- last week's Number One -- came in at Number Four and Five respectively.
Jay-Z should savor this week because it might be his last ever in the top spot. Next week, Britney Spears' super-hyped In the Zone, the Beatles "new" album Let It Be . . . Naked, punk-pop stars Blink-182's self-titled fifth album and the embattled Michael Jackson's new greatest hits album Number Ones all hit the charts . . . just in time for holidays.
This week's Top Ten: Jay-Z's The Black Album; 2Pac's Resurrection; G-Unit's Beg for Mercy; Josh Groban's Closer; Toby Keith's Shock N Y'all; Now That's What I Call Music! 14; Sarah McLachlan's Afterglow; Kid Rock's Kid Rock; Pink's Try This; and Sheryl Crow's The Very Best of Sheryl Crow.